Pain from 4th degree tear 5 years later - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 08-27-2010, 02:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi! Im new on here but am wondering if there is anyone out there who has had a 4th degree tear that needed a second surgery who is still suffering with pain? I feel alone with this. I gave birth to my daughter over 5 years ago. I pushed over 4 hours and she eventually needed to be vacuumed out. I had an episiotomy but tore past that. It took the doctor over and hour to stitch me up. A week later after not going to the bathroom(#2) I was admitted back in the hospital with a compaction and a fistula. I was leaking out the wrong place!! I was mortified. I was in the hospital for another week trying to get me to go to the bathroom. I ended up with a catheder for 2 weeks and then ended up needing a "repair" surgery 2 months later. I couldn't sit down properly for 8 months. Sex ever since has been painful.
Is there anyone out there like me? Is there anything I can do to make it less painful? Any help would be great!!
Thank you!!!

Mommy to AJ 1/10/09 and Kalea 3/5/05
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#2 of 5 Old 08-28-2010, 01:56 AM
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Hi mama! I don't have much time but here are some suggestions. Chiropractic and physical therapy have done wonders for my lady bits. After a bad tear your muscles can sort of bunch up and clench in weird places, causing pain and pressure. PT helped a lot with that. Chiropractic helps your nerves quiet down by aligning your lower spine/sacrum. My chiro even adjusts my pubic bone. It helps so much. IMHO, it's really hard for your muscles to work properly your bones are out of place. You may also want to see a urogynecologist to see if there is any excessive scar tissue, and to see if your repair was done correctly. I wouldn't see a doctor associated with the practice you used for your birth. Not that they necessarily did anything wrong, but they have a tendency to cover each others behinds, so they may downplay your symptoms. Finally, you may need to work through the emotional impact of all of this. Many women experience painful sex because of the psychological effects of a traumatic birth. I hope you find relief soon!

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#3 of 5 Old 08-28-2010, 02:20 PM
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Big hugs... my 4th degree tear/repair took about a year to be "pain free". And there are still things (3 years and one vaginal birth later) that are still uncomfortable. For instance, I can't use sea sponges or my diva cup because they "rub" the scar tissue and cause extreme pain.

I'm so sorry you've had such a hard time recovering, and sorry you're still in such pain. I second having a physical therapist take a look. Especially a PT with experience in women's health. You probably have adhesions... scar massage and u/s treatments can help with that. And there are stretching/toning exercises a PT can help with as well.

If you can't see a PT, the book Ending Female Pain is a great resource. Very well written, lots of pictures, easy to follow exercises. It helped me recover from the tear/repair and has continued to help me with the prolapse I acquired during that same birth.

Oh... the very birth supportive OBs I saw for my first vbac felt that belly dance, gentle yoga, and meditation outside/gardening to connect with nature were crucial activities for mamas who had suffered physical birth trauma (c/s, epi, tear). On the one hand, these are activities that increase blood flow to the pelvic region and provide gentle stretching to the muscles/tissue there as well. But they also felt that the body "shuts down" awareness of damaged areas as a sort of self defense mechanism and although this may help in the short term recovery, if a person doesn't work at re-integrating the pelvic region then there could be long term recovery issues.

Anyway, in addition to the scar massage/physical therapy/hydrotherapy techniques you may want to explore more holistic techniques like adding a gentle belly dance or yoga routine, meditating, tapping or EMDR.

I hope something helps... pelvic pain is so hard to discuss, and hard to recover from. There is a "vaginal birth after 4th degree tear" thread in the Birth trauma forum that might help in a BTDT way.

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#4 of 5 Old 12-28-2010, 07:14 PM
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I have also experience a 4th degree tear, my daughter is 15 months old and I also still struggle with pain as well as painful sex. Thanks so much for posting ideas on how to deal with it. The only advice my family dr. gave me was to use estrogen cream which I am very leary of using.

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#5 of 5 Old 12-29-2010, 08:11 AM
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So I didn't have a 4th degree tear, but I did have an extremely long 2nd stage and lots of problems afterwards.... Turns out I have damage to the pudendal nerve, which is not something an ordinary obgyn is going to figure out.  I'm not sure about a urogyn.  Though I would agree to start with a (different!) regular ob but if they can't find anything you may want to try a pelvic pain specialist.  Though PT did help so i you can get the regular doc to start you with that it might help.

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